back to article Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

An entire block was shut down around the Duke Energy building in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, on Tuesday after mail room staff reported "a small manila envelope handwritten and addressed from out of state" to police. The workers were right to be concerned. Further investigation by a bomb squad revealed the package to …

  1. Brian Miller Silver badge

    Re: That's not what DAT looks like

    According to the original news sources, it was, in fact, "Journey’s musical cassette tape." As in, not a DAT tape. The illustrative photograph is correct, but the Reg article is not.

  2. Steve Evans

    Re: That's not what DAT looks like

    You're relying on the millennial who wrote the original source being able to identify either...

  3. Jim 59


    It was a DAT tape? Booo! We all wanted it to be a good ol' compact cassette, as did the Reg picture editor, apparently.

  4. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Re: DAT?

    DAT tape?

    Are you a PNS* Syndrome sufferer?

    * PIN Number Syndrome

  5. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge


    Upon closer inspection, the tape was judged to be harmless. As no one was able to locate a compatible player.

  6. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Re: Harmless

    I'd guess that most cars on the road have a tape player.

  7. Graham Cunningham

    Re: Harmless

    You do know which century we're in now, right? ;)

  8. Jon 37

    Re: Harmless

    > I'd guess that most cars on the road have a tape player.

    The article says it was a DAT tape. Car tape players play normal tapes, not DAT tapes. DAT has a different physical form factor and stores the music digitally - it's a Digital Audio Tape.


  9. Peter2 Silver badge

    Re: Harmless

    I wouldn't bet much on that. My car was built 20 years ago and while admittedly it did come with a tape player 20 years ago pretty much the first thing I did with the car was to rip the tape player out and substitute it with a modern 2din touchscreen radio/mp3/cd/dvd/satnav android device which gives the same functionality as people buy new cars for.

  10. Persona

    Re: Harmless

    "I'd guess that most cars on the road have a tape player."

    It's the USA ...... 8 tracks were the thing over there. Probably still are outside of the cities.

  11. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Re: Harmless

    I'd guess that most cars on the road have a tape player.

    Not any cars made this century. I'd be surprised to even see a CD player in anything made in the last couple of years.

  12. Fungus Bob Silver badge

    Re: Harmless

    "I'd guess that most cars on the road have a tape player."

    More importantly, cars have tires with which they can run over Journey tapes.

  13. jake Silver badge

    Re: Harmless

    8 tracks were only common for a couple years in the late 1960s. The only cars I know that still have them are restorations at car shows.

  14. Down not across

    Re: Harmless

    Not any cars made this century. I'd be surprised to even see a CD player in anything made in the last couple of years.

    My current car, and pretty much all previous ones (at least ones that still had original factory installed audio) have all been equipped with radio/cassette.And in some cases also with cd-changer. Even with factory sat-nav and tv (analogue). Now if I could only find any of the old cassettes I used to have, but some things as best forgotten I think. Yes, current and several previous have been made this century.

  15. Dabooka Silver badge

    Re: Harmless

    Most cars are headerless units now, CDs are being phased out so unless you're in deepest Africa I cantt see most cars having cassette.

    I did hear 8 tracks and sat radio were the big thing in the states at one point, but don't know if that's true.

  16. Persona

    Re: Harmless

    "8 tracks were only common for a couple years in the late 1960s."

    I visited Salt Lake City in 2001. Our taxi driver was playing music with an 8 track.

  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. ibmalone Silver badge

    An entire block was shut down around the Duke Energy building in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina,

    That must have meant strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard.

  19. Chunky Munky

    Journey have since been in contact to say that you can now stop believing

    Grabs coat and runs for the door

  20. Giovani Tapini

    Having your tapes blown up by the authorities

    is a very rock-and-roll story, just 20 to 30 years too late to be a media sensation for smashing the "system"

  21. TomPhan

    Not the story I was expecting

    Assumed it was going to be about a younger person seeing unfamiliar technology and fearing the worst.

  22. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: Not the story I was expecting

    Younger people know what tapes are. They've seen them on Guardians of the Galaxy and everything.

  23. james_smith

    Re: Not the story I was expecting

    There's a whole vintage and retro thing that's making cassettes desirable among people in the late teens / early 20s. Recently played a gig where the millenials in the support band were very proud of their four track cassete deck (some ancient Portastudio thingy). Chatted to them about it, and found out that reel to reel machines are even more desirable. Time to dust off my trusty Revox B77...

  24. Richard_Sideways

    Are they sure it was Journey, because frankly the whole thing sounds more like some Cheap Trick...


  25. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Potential bomb handling method?

    The actions of the authorities seems troubling... They're called to a potential bomb scene. Pick up the "bomb" and take to be x-rayed. Look at the x-ray. Take "bomb" to open field. Tie rope to "bomb" and give it a good pull.

    Seems weird this day and age. Seems more likely they'd check in situ and determine if it can be moved.

  26. DougS Silver badge

    Re: Potential bomb handling method?

    I doubt the article gave an exact description. They can check for RF emissions or bomb residue with meters and dogs, if neither of those hit they're probably safe from bombs and just do the Xray/tug test as a matter of procedure in case it is something else like anthrax (not Anthrax, only a truly sadistic terrorist would send one of their cassettes through the mail)

  27. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Need a more powerful strike force

    Nobody would bother putting Journey on DAT unless it was a studio bootleg. Evacuate a half mile radius and send in the anti-piracy squad. This could be the property of any number of record companies, or even Atari.

  28. MrBanana

    "Just a City Boy..."

    Come on, everyone knows Journey ripped Don't Stop Believin' off of Family Guy:

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait, was that tape covering the top hole?

    The cassette may have said Journey, but the malcontent may have reconfigured it as a "Mix-Tape".

    Possible violations of DMCA must be treated with great care....oh the horror!

  30. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Lack of science in schools

    What does a cassette mass? What is the energy density of TNT? A package containing a cassette (analog or DAT) is not going to mass enough to be an explosive of much strength. There would also be some of that mass that would be needed to trigger any sort of explosion which leaves even less margin for an energetic material. An easy check on whether it would be a concern or not would be to contact the person that it was addressed to and see if they were expecting a package.

    That the package had a handwritten label is also something that should point to a non-terrorist package. The recent fake bombs were sent with machine printed labels. If the most damaged crazies know that hand writing the info should be avoided, it's unlikely that a hand addressed package is of much concern.

    Could the package have contained a poison/toxin/biohazard? Yep and a very small charge could disperse it over a whole office PDQ. At some point paranoia and trying to guard against every sort of bad thing that could happen can only lead to suicide. Somebody could break into your house and spray a teflon infused oil in your shower so you slip and injure yourself. Does this mean that you should check all your bathroom surfaces carefully every day just in case?

  31. veti Silver badge

    Re: Lack of science in schools

    You're asking for an awful lot of analysis from a minimum-wage mailroom drone.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Lack of science in schools

    Who uses TNT for terrorism, it would be C4 or some other bang-stuff. Anyway even a small amount is enough to damage a hand/finger and cause the terror.

    I dont know about you I do check the bathroom surfaces everyday it those daratted cockroaches you know.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    old guys, 70s rock, hmm...

  34. jake Silver badge

    Strangely enough ...

    ... as I was reading this article, The Ace Of Cups was live in the news room for Channel 7 here in the Bay Area.

  35. hausjam

    Anyone who doesn’t like Journey really needs to have his head examined.

  36. jake Silver badge


    If we all liked the same exact things, the world would be a very boring place. Vive la différence.

  37. EJ

    Be good to yourself

    Nobody else will.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Be good to yourself

    Oh so very true


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